Nestled near Cashiers, North Carolina, the Panthertown Valley offers a maze of 35 miles of diverse trails. Cyclists have a designated 19 miles of the trail network to explore, amid breathtaking vistas framed by granite cliffs. While the terrain is majorly intermediate, it's important to note that hikers, horses, and even rock climbers share this space.
Navigate east from Cashiers on US 64 for about 1.5 miles before turning north onto Cedar Creek Road (SR 1120). Proceed for 2.2 miles and then take a right onto Breedlove Road (SR 1121). After the pavement shifts to gravel 3.3 miles in, parking is available alongside the gravel stretch. The Salt Rock trailhead is a mere ¼ mile from here.
Reviews by those who've traversed these trails underscore a few salient points:
For those aiming to maximize scenic vistas, consider ditching the bike for hiking boots to better explore the valley. Almost every trail involves a descent into the valley, so be prepared for a strenuous climb back. Also, due to some muddy patches, especially on the valley floor, be ready to negotiate sludgy stretches.Maps are available from Highland Hiker in Cashiers, a valuable resource as the labyrinthine nature of the trails can be disorienting.
Panthertown Valley offers a mixed bag of experiences. Although the trail design may not provide an adrenaline-pumping ride for some, it compensates with stunning vistas and a wonderful sense of seclusion. With a good map and a willingness to share the trails with other nature lovers, you can look forward to an enriching day in the saddle.